Sunday, January 4, 2009

Class 1: Introduction to the Power of Social Technology

Welcome to the Power of Social Technology or "PoST" as we will call it from now on. By now you've probably noticed that this course is different from your standard GSB fare: no reader, no text books, no assignments prior to day one...(and hopefully this discovery brightened the gloom of vacations' end). But the differences don't stop there: you, the students, own this course.

So now it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to the simple goal of this class: change someone's life (for the better).

Please feel free to change the life of more than one person if you wish -- but in order to pass this class, you will need to materially change at least one individual's life. To do so, we will form pods and experiment with different forms of social technologies (more advanced than this simple blog). From there, we will iterate, prototype, and create.

In the process, we will learn from experts about being an anthropologist, telling stories, and grabbing attention, engaging, and inspiring others to take action.

The goal of this blog is three-fold. First, this blog (simple and novice in its format but it will hopefully do the trick) will be a place to summarize the highlights of the class. Second, the blog aims to foster conversation--particularly among those may not always like to speak in class. Third, it will provide a single place for you to post links, videos, resources. I look forward forward to getting to know each of you, being inspired by your projects, and following your careers. Jennifer.


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  2. Highlight from Class 1:

    Introducing what we deeply want to work on in class after the moving presentation about Sameer and Vinay:

    Well Meaning Student #1 - "Bridging the gap that exists in society with race, gender, money"

    Well Meaning Student #2 - "Empowering children to believe in themselves through education"

    Randall - "College Football reform"

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  4. I'm really excited to jump in and start iterating with some of these new ways to engage people around a specific cause. I'm also really eager to see how much progress we make as a class in a few short weeks.

  5. The Stanford Social Innovation Review website recently featured an article titled, "Root Causes vs. Facebook Causes" - The author, Peter Deitz, argues that social technology tools should be used for more than increading individual giving or recruiting friends to causes, but should also facilitate efforts to address 'root causes' (as opposed to symptoms)

  6. I just came across this organization- The Opportunity Agenda- it may be especially relevant for groups working on diversity and access to opportunity issues/topics

    From the website: "The Opportunity Agenda works to ensure that the United States lives up to its promise of opportunity for every person who lives here. To offer true opportunity, we believe our nation must acknowledge and address the barriers that keep people from achieving their full potential. When we find these barriers—such as limited access to health care, over-reliance on prisons, racial or gender bias—we must work together as a society to eliminate them." []

  7. Interesting looking class. Stanford huh.
    Looking to go there after my Bachelors degree.
    Just finished up 4 Associates & 2 certificates.
    I believe Widgets play an important part.
    Try the widget as seen on my blog
    and of course Twitter widget.


  8. This class looks very interesting. I would love to be a part of it in any way possible.

    My name is Andre Charoo and I am the Co-Founder and CEO of ProspectLinker (, an online career oriented community that links students and companies together. The website gives students the opportunity to interact one-on-one with people who work at top companies, so they can promote themselves, get advice and get great jobs.

    Students struggle for a practical source of advice, and ProspectLinker aims to be that source for all students.

    The company also aims to break the barriers of access to top companies, and the black box that students seem to apply to when reaching out to these companies. It would be amazing to have the opportunity to present my company to your students in this class. I would love to hear their perspectives and ideas on the strategies and tactics they would use to position ProspectLinker as another company that has the potential to be a part of the other companies who have catalyzed active social persuasion.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.